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Learner Reviews & Feedback for R Programming by Johns Hopkins University

22,214 ratings

About the Course

In this course you will learn how to program in R and how to use R for effective data analysis. You will learn how to install and configure software necessary for a statistical programming environment and describe generic programming language concepts as they are implemented in a high-level statistical language. The course covers practical issues in statistical computing which includes programming in R, reading data into R, accessing R packages, writing R functions, debugging, profiling R code, and organizing and commenting R code. Topics in statistical data analysis will provide working examples....

Top reviews


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Very challenging, but good course. I've been programming in R for over a year, but there were still some things for me to pick up in this class. Assignments were a challenge, but satisfying to tackle.


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This was very engaging, however, the level of expectation and effort needed is much greater than course 1 - ToolBox.

This is perhaps the best course on R Programming designed for a small duration.

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51 - 75 of 4,732 Reviews for R Programming

By Gabriela R

Sep 23, 2021

The only feedback I have is that they should try to incorporate more examples (simple real world ones would be great) when explaining concepts in R, because otherwise it is quite dry. The things you learn in the individual lectures give you a very basic idea of the functionality without much insight on *why* its important or *how* it can be applied...I found most of my solutions/answers by googling and using swirl a bunch of times. However it is rewarding if you power through it and have A LOT of patience, especially if you are a beginner with no background in programming (like myself).

By 曹艺

Feb 8, 2022

I learned a lot from this course, however, it was too difficult for me to complete the assignments. I believe that students should be better instructed and directed to complete them. Although challenging work could help individuals to make progress, too difficult work may lead them to frustration as well.

By Brett C

Jul 14, 2022

Pros: You learn quite a lot over the four weeks this course runs, and you should be able to import, manipulate, wrangle, and clean a fairly wide variety of CSV-based data by the end of it. I've already been able to apply a lot of this to data I work with.

Cons: 1) Some of the assignments introduce concepts that are not covered in the lectures, and are not well explained (if at all) in the assignment instructions. Not impossible, but you will have to do a fair bit of Googling to figure it out. 2) A couple of the lectures assume you have a reasonably advanced knowledge of statistics. If you don't, it's hard to follow along with the R principles that are being demonstrated. 3) One of the assignments is peer-reviewed. I know this is unavoidable for a MOOC, but depending on how vindictive your peer-reviewers are, you might have to just resubmit the same assignment multiple times in order to get a passing grade.

By Chili R

Jan 27, 2021

Very interesting topic and fun to get an introduction to R programming. I felt however that while the material discussed in the videos and swirl exercises were quite straightforward and understandable, the programming assignments at the end of each week were on a whole different level. It is like being taught a handful of words in a foreign language and then being asked to write a magazine article.


Dec 26, 2020

I'm new to R, and this give me lots of insight how to use it Rstudio and understand better of R language. Unfortunately, the given assignments are so difficult for me as a beginner which need more practice and help from the internet. Over all, thanks for the knowledge :) .

By Suliat A G

Jul 21, 2022

The course wasnt really explanatory. the materials is different from the assignment. it can be much more better and simplified

By Tareq R

Sep 16, 2018

I think for a MOOC, this course could have used the power of video a lot more, listening to the videos that are basically voice over a slide , wasn't helpful at all, and if it wasn't for the book, I wouldn't learn anything.... if the videos were more illustrative and visual to explain certain concepts , that would have been much better

By Javier P

Dec 8, 2019

Very poor material. Very theoric, no interaction, interesting applications or examples, and very boring lectures.

The material is very trivial, without real applications.

The assessments were useful but in some cases they were not related with the topic.

By Kristofer R

Oct 31, 2018

R Programming assignments were much more complex than what the tutorials taught. There was a very drastic jump between the two and was very difficult/frustrating to complete, especially for someone with no coding experience.

By Rushabh K

Apr 28, 2020

Should have been better taught and the stuff in assignment is way tough than taught in the lecture

By Brian K

Mar 20, 2016

I am really unhappy with this course. Coming to R with some background in statistics and SQL, but lacking programming experience, I assumed this would be an introduction. The material in the lectures is straightforward enough, and the swirl exercises are easy to get through and informative, but the assignments are, without exception, based on writing functions in R with basically zero experience. Having no background or frame of reference for best practices in syntax, logic, etc, and very little information in the lectures or supplementary material to help, I found these to be almost impossible to complete.

Furthermore, there's no mechanism or provision in the course to review the assignments after they're submitted. So not only did I not feel like I was doing the work correctly, I can't get feedback, and the lecturer doesn't break down the rationale behind the assignment, and how he would have done it or why. In addition, the assignments bear only a tangential relationship to the lecture material. So I would be feeling good coming out of a lecture and going through swirl exercises, only to be plunged into a programming assignment that was far too advanced for the small steps I felt I had taken in my overall competence with the language and material.

I don't doubt that someone with better knowledge of programming can get through this stuff, but this class should be reserved for advanced learners only, or maybe be broken up into two courses. I feel like I wasted $49.

By Kenneth N

Apr 14, 2020

This course is extremely poorly constructed and now quite dated providing instruction in only base R.

The philosophy underlying the modular system in Coursera is clearly that the subject matter covered in the module relates to the set work for that module. I was only able to complete work for week x after doing the reading for week x+1. It took me some time to discover this strategy, a lot of which was wasted wondering what I was missing, what I had done wrong &c. I'm sure the course fee doesn't mean much to most but it is a significant amount to me and I felt let down. Very little time or thought has gone into the structure of this course. It is clear that something is wrong with the week 3 assignment when there are git hub entries on the background knowledge required to complete it. Without these I would not have managed. Going by the age of some of these entries, this problem is now years old with no attempt made to rectify it.

My only reason for persisting with the course is that my boss asked me get the certificate. I imagine his assumption was that the quality must be high given the institution sponsoring it. It seems to me this course is risks causing a significant amount of reputational damage to Hopkins by association. I won't be continuing with this series of courses, I have switched to a related course series offered by Duke. The quality is incomparable.

By Tural D

Dec 14, 2019

My overall evaluation for that course is 1 stas due to main two reasons:

First of all course has too much information without the applying during the weeks. However once a learner opens the assignment it is inevitable to face with very hard tasks

I spent more time on youtube and other sources to learn how to use the functions and solve the assignments in comparison with the course itself. That is the reason I am not satisfied with the course.

Given theory is okay but the applying of them during the week is very less. THat is the reason learner face big issues during quizzes.

I found SWIRL assignments very useful that I can say they were the only things that I learned the practical part of R programming.

My advice is to increase the number of SWIRL assignments and increase the difficulty level of them each time.

It is also better to decrease the difficulty level of assignments and quizzes. Because course is more theoretical than being practical in teaching. but the assignment requirements are more practical.

By Paul Y

Mar 31, 2022

This was the worst learning experience I have ever had.

You learn with the videos, although these were frequently delving into subtleties that only the professor could appreciate, you do the swirl lessons (that don't count for anything, but the course still tells you to submit a key to record completion), then you are handed a programming assignment that doesn't use anything you just learned; instead you are told to "Google it." Are you kidding me???

The assignment deals with R over 8 years ago, if not more, but R has been updated several times before.

The R lab that they keep bragging about hardly ever works; a complete sham. The mentors tell you essentially to suck it up, and don't help.

There is no pedagogy here; only taking your money and not caring.

By Boban D

Aug 12, 2017

One of the most worthless courses I have ever taken! There are so many gaps in the course material that you will sepnd the majority of your time banging your head against the table wondering what and why something in the code is happening. The Material on Loops and Functions is a joke! You are supposed to learn loops from that? Maybe if you already know a programing language, you can, but is suposed to be a beginners course, as it was announced whe I started it. Also dont expect much exercises. Swirl is nice to play around, and there is a quiz, but that does not come even close to having a comprehensive set of Exercises. The Instructors advice when there are gaps: Google it! I dont need to enroll in a paid course (for beginners) to do that. Pathetic!

By Benjamin L

Dec 5, 2018

Don't expect so much... Lexical scoping will probably not be used by the majority of data scientists but the course expects you to research it yourself entirely and spend hours on hours on it, when the focus could have been placed on somewhere else!

"Mentors" are quick to respond to dissatisfaction at the course with comebacks but when students ask for help regarding assignments they are nowhere to be seen.

Watch all the lectures, enrol for 7 day trial, submit assignment 2 and 4, and ignore the rest. Don't let them trick your money!!! (PS I was like you at the beginning, I thought of paying for the course, doing a good job and getting a certificate, but trust me, this course is not worth it.)

By Troy M

Dec 5, 2019

As many others have stated before, the gap between the lectures/swirl practices and the actual assignments is way too big. I am a novice at R but did come with practice of the basics before starting this course. I also took notes and completed every swirl practice. Even with that I felt incredibly unprepared for the assignments. I understand that searching the internet for help is part of the process but the extent to which the student must search is unforgivable for this to be considered a proper way of teaching. I would also caution that the estimated hours of completion are understated if you plan on trying to actually complete these assignments by yourself.

By Todd D

Apr 24, 2020

This course is frustratingly bad. The lecture topics are very scattered and provide almost no practical information. The slides are static with simultaneously too much and too little to understand how to apply them "in the real world." The disparity between the lecture material and assignments is truly laughable and -- if you are a beginner -- more or less impossible to complete without lots of Google/stackoverflow searching and head scratching. I would not recommend this to anyone.

By Olivier P

Mar 13, 2016

This is probably the most pedagogically inept course I have ever enrolled on. Although the content is what you would hope to find in such a course, the delivery of it is outrageously bad. When to complete your assignment, Google becomes your best friend rather than your lecture notes, you know that something is wrong. The idea that a baby thrown in the water may just learn to swim rather than drown is pedagogically retarded. Unfortunately, this seems to be the approach here...

By Ethan T

Jun 8, 2019

The gap between tutorials and assignments is huge. They teach you algebra I and then expect calculus. I got by because of google searching. It took a long time, and it was very frustrating. This course could have been better if there were intermediate assignments to help close that gap. I'm not sure why they've done this already. Based on the discussion sections, I can tell that a large percentage of people quit the data science specialization after taking this course.

By Eduardo H M

Feb 20, 2023

This is a bad course. Not only because it is 10 years old and has received no update on the videos or materials, but because the course provides little support for the tests and quizzes. I thought this was exactly what I needed and I have been repeatedly frustrated by the course and its structure. The lecturer does not help much. His lectures are not clear or presented in a well-articulated manner. 100% disappointed and frustrated!

By Arif V V

Jan 26, 2019

the content of the course is rather irrelevant of the assignments, at least in terms of the hardness... also the presenter is substantially fast.

By Akram A

Jan 31, 2019

it's not good to explain only without practice or giving examples

By Abhishek J

Sep 27, 2016

I will break down the review into the contents and comment on them. Before doing that and saving the trouble for people who do not like to read a lot - This course is an awesome kick-starter for R-programming.

Video Lectures : The speed and content are just perfect. The concepts covered in each lecture and the manner in which it was taught just made them stick well in my mind.

2. Quiz - They were simple so I infer that they are meant to test how well we have learnt the concepts.

3. Swirl Practice Programming Assignments - A very innovative way to teach us in the R console itself. I really enjoyed playing with it.

4. Programming Assignment - It was a sheer pleasure to do the last assignment. The level was really good. I found it a bit daunting at first but then caught up by reviewing some concepts.

5. Discussion Forums - I couldn't be very active in terms of replying but I never missed to hear what mentors had to say. I owe thanks to mentors for their awesome posts that gave deeper insights especially Al Warren.

I highly recommend this course. Prof. Peng - your videos are really good and far from boring. And yes, Thank you Coursera.

By Patricia R B D

May 23, 2018

I have long since wanted to learn R, but other online tutorial sites which mostly involved learning through copy-pasting codes didn't help me well. I had no expectations for this specific module as I know that I have unsuccessful experience on learning R online, but this module helped me significantly. Unlike other online tutorial sites, lectures in this module helped me understand how R thinks and works. Lexical scoping was particularly difficult to understand at first, and I also had to rewatch it a few times, but it did help me a lot in actually learning the language. I also like how the programming assignments are laid out as "machine problems" wherein students are asked to create functions that also require us to search for other functions on our own. The swirl exercises were also particularly helpful for me in remembering some useful functions that I would later use for the programming assignments. In just one month, I am now confident to say that I know how to R (but I know there's a lot yet to learn hahaha).